Tsuge Ikebana: Smooth Freehand (Kikuchi) (K) (016) (2023) Tobacco Pipe
Product Number: 002-623-4718
The three artisans that work out of the small Ikebana workshop in Japan are incredibly talented individuals, each given the freedom to craft shapes that are utterly their own and in styles that reflect their own sensibilities. Of the three, Asami Kikuchi is the youngest, though she honed her artistic talent for many years before joining the team and, once there, was mentored for a full year by the head of the workshop Kazuhiro Fukuda who was taught by Sixten Ivarsson and boasts over 40 years of experience. This Freehand from Kikuchi is a lovely piece that is rich with fluid curves and implied momentum, all while maintaining a Danish sensibility.
I'm reminded of the workshop's appellation as "The Flowers of the Pipe World" when observing this piece, as it presents with a stunningly organic disposition despite the more apparent structural elements of its build. The stummel here is possessed of a Horn-like silhouette, with a fluid curvature and an easy flare out from the transition to the rim, its entire expansion marked by a series of ridgelines. The shank here is marked by its own flare, coming to its widest point at the end, where it's outlined by a more firm ridge that additionally defines the starting point of five more ridges. Two of these frame the flanks of the stummel and one pushes through the underside before dissipating near the transitional area, though the final two are far less conspicuous; starting just above the ridges at the flanks, these last two lines are ephemeral in appearance and sweep downward, curving to meet their firmer cousins below the transition. As the stummel curls upward and into the bowl, it reaches a broad, domed, lenticular rim which is a bit less ovoid than most other lens shapes we see in pipes, though it affords the silhouette a palpable softness that works well with the supple flow of the briar's outline. Soft in the hand, this pipe is lent a comfortable smoking posture by the slender, smartly curved black vulcanite stem which lifts out of the gently domed shank face. Dressing this piece is a warm, chestnut hued stain and matte finish, enhancing the feel in hand and creating a smart complement to the striations of flame that frame the circumference of the briar, while the underside showcases a vast ocean of birdseye.-John McElheny
Measurements & Other Details
- Length: 5.18 in./131.57 mm.
- Weight: 1.70 oz./48.19 g.
- Bowl Height: 1.85 in./46.99 mm.
- Chamber Depth: 1.47 in./37.34 mm.
- Chamber Diameter: 0.75 in./19.05 mm.
- Outside Diameter: 1.84 in./46.74 mm.
- Stem Material: Vulcanite
- Filter: None
- Shape: Freehand
- Finish: Smooth
- Material: Briar
- Country: Japan